Presentations – Lets talk contests and rules.

Contest Season is well underway!

Many clubs have already held speech contests and Areas, Divisions and the District contests are being planned.

Often questions are received requesting clarification of the rules. I am addressing the most common questions as well as highlighting rules that have changed in the Speech Contest Rule Book July 2018 to June 2019.

  1. Change in Contest Sequence for the International Speech Contest
    It is important to know that an additional level has been introduced being the Region Quarterfinals. The sequence of contests is now as follows:
    • Club Contests
    • Area Contests
    • Division Contests
    • District Contest
    • Region Quarterfinal Contests
    • Semifinal Contests
    • World Champion of Public Speaking

The International Speech Contest’s District level winner’s video will be submitted to World Headquarters to be used in the Region Quarterfinals. After Region Quarterfinal results are announced, winners will be notified with information on the Semifinals, which will be held at the International Convention in August.

Participants in the World Championship of Public Speaking must present an entirely new and different speech to the one presented during the Semifinal or any of the previous year’s semifinal and final-round speech contests. (Only one new speech needs to be prepared.)

  1. Change to Announcement of winners for all contests
    • In contests with three or more participants, a third place winner, second-place winner and a first place winner will be announced.
    • In contests with less the three participants a second-place winner (if applicable), and a first place winner will be announced.
  2. Eligibility
    To be eligible to compete a member must:
    • Be a paid member of the club in which he or she is competing. (The member must ensure that if he/she has paid their dues to the club, the club has paid the dues to World Headquarters. If the dues have not been paid at the time of the contest the participant will be disqualified, even if this is only discovered at a later stage. A member can check by logging in to and selecting Leadership Central/Eligibility Assistant and then clicking in the Checkbox “Check myself” and then select Search. Remember to scroll down to find the results.)
    • A club must be in good standing (minimum of 8 paid up members)
    • To compete in the International Speech Contest, a member must have completed (any) 6 speech assignments in the Competent Communicator Manual, or have completed a minimum of two levels in the Toastmasters Pathways learning experience.
    o The only exception to this rule is a charter member of a new club chartered within a year of the club contest. The club must be officially chartered before the Area Contest.
    • Eligibility must be maintained at all levels of the contest.
  3. Protests
    • Protests may only be made by contestants or voting judges.
    • Protests may not be made by:
    o The chief judge
    o Ballot counters
    o Other contest officials
    o Audience members
    • Once the results of the contest have been announced no protests can be made.
  4. Evaluation Contests
    • Contestants who choose to make notes must use the Evaluation Contest Notes sheet (Item 1177).
    • More than one sheet may be used.
  5. Briefing Scripts
    The following briefing scripts are available for download or from the Chief Judge
    • Chief Judge’s briefing (includes voting judges, tie-breaking judges, ballot counters and timers scripts for all contests)
    • Contest Chair’s briefing (includes SAA and contestants scripts for all contests)

I am available on WhatsApp at any time (as far as possible) during contest season. My cell number is
071 352 7200.

Karin Cremer, DTM, PDG
District 74 Chief Judg